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Question
Posted by: Catherine | 2010/09/16

how do i do this safely?

i suffered from anorexia and bulimia as a young woman, right into my twenties. I went for all the necessary therapy, regular weigh-ins, bloods were taken, I was even the guinea pig for young doctors at a local hospital (that was humiliating). I recovered and whilst the disorder will never fully go away, I think I managed well to keep it at bay.
Anyway, I am now a new mom. I have pregnancy weight that I have to lose. I saw a dietitian a few months ago and nothing worked. My weight stayed the same. I watch my portions, cut out all refined carbs, I exercise 3 times a week at gym and I had my thyroid checked recently. I was not losing weight (not gaining either, but not losing). However lately I''ve been cutting out meals, lowering my calorie intake to 600-800 calories per day. Now I see the weight coming off, but it''s got me back to obsessing about food, worrying about my next meal and feeling guilty about the odd wrong choice.
What would be a safe route for someone like me to lose the weight? I hate the way I look at the moment. I rush by my mirrors, I weigh myself everyday. I don''t want to go back to my disorder, but I can''t bear this weight any longer. I am 30 years old, 1.5m tall and I weigh 65kg at the moment. That is very overweight right?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hi Catherine,
Congratulations on motherhood! In that respect, I assume and suspect that you are delighted. However, it appears that the pregnancy and birth has also re-ignited some old fears associated with your anorexic history. Although your weigh to height ratio reflects a Body Mass Index that would calculate you to be a little overweight, it is irrelevant, given that you are a new mom and carrying pregnancy weight. You really need to be patient and focus on nourishing yourself with a healthy and moderated intake for both your own and your baby’s sake. Yes, I understand that you are anxious to lose weight, but for now you need to remain focussed on nourishing yourself well and making sure that your baby is receiving good nourishment from a healthy and happy mother. Although I cannot demand you to not be anxious, I would suggest that you speak to both your gynaecologist and a registered dietician (especially one who might specialise in pregnancy and postnatal nutrition) and follow some medical advice to assure that you remain healthy and only lose your pregnancy weight in a sensible fashion. This is particularly important in light of your anorexic history. It might also be very valuable for you to visit a therapist for a while and reflect on some of the difficulties that you are expecting now and look back n the time when you were suffering from your eating disorder. Are you also attending any parent groups, as it might be very helpful for you to be discussing your issues with other young mothers who are in a similar situation to yours? Catherine, it is very understandable that your old eating disorder thoughts have “returned”, as any major life events (I think becoming a mother qualifies) tend to “awaken the monsters of old”. Do not panic. I suggest your mobilize your support system and talk about your feelings and fears. In all likelihood, with time your body will return to a resting place, even if it is not exactly where it was before. The bottom line, however, is that you will only create misery for yourself (and your child and family) if you remain at war with your body, and not accept your body’s natural shape and weight. By following a sensible diet and exercise plan, you will be making an excellent investment in yours and your family’s well-being. Does this make sense? Enjoy your baby, despite the sleep deprivation!
Regards,
Graham

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: BMI | 2010/10/10

Your BMI is 30.9. Putting you in the obese category.

Please be carful.

Reply to BMI
Posted by: Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert | 2010/09/19

Hi Catherine,
Congratulations on motherhood! In that respect, I assume and suspect that you are delighted. However, it appears that the pregnancy and birth has also re-ignited some old fears associated with your anorexic history. Although your weigh to height ratio reflects a Body Mass Index that would calculate you to be a little overweight, it is irrelevant, given that you are a new mom and carrying pregnancy weight. You really need to be patient and focus on nourishing yourself with a healthy and moderated intake for both your own and your baby’s sake. Yes, I understand that you are anxious to lose weight, but for now you need to remain focussed on nourishing yourself well and making sure that your baby is receiving good nourishment from a healthy and happy mother. Although I cannot demand you to not be anxious, I would suggest that you speak to both your gynaecologist and a registered dietician (especially one who might specialise in pregnancy and postnatal nutrition) and follow some medical advice to assure that you remain healthy and only lose your pregnancy weight in a sensible fashion. This is particularly important in light of your anorexic history. It might also be very valuable for you to visit a therapist for a while and reflect on some of the difficulties that you are expecting now and look back n the time when you were suffering from your eating disorder. Are you also attending any parent groups, as it might be very helpful for you to be discussing your issues with other young mothers who are in a similar situation to yours? Catherine, it is very understandable that your old eating disorder thoughts have “returned”, as any major life events (I think becoming a mother qualifies) tend to “awaken the monsters of old”. Do not panic. I suggest your mobilize your support system and talk about your feelings and fears. In all likelihood, with time your body will return to a resting place, even if it is not exactly where it was before. The bottom line, however, is that you will only create misery for yourself (and your child and family) if you remain at war with your body, and not accept your body’s natural shape and weight. By following a sensible diet and exercise plan, you will be making an excellent investment in yours and your family’s well-being. Does this make sense? Enjoy your baby, despite the sleep deprivation!
Regards,
Graham

Reply to Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert

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